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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 3, September 2018
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Marcyn Del Clements
Claremont, California, USA


In the Lemon-Scented Geraniums

mourning doves
on the back wall he bows
puff-necked beside her

Found her yesterday morning, as I deadheaded a hanging geranium. She exploded from the box, limped along the deck, broken wing act. Standing on a step stool, I saw 2 fat eggs in the sloppy stick nest she’d built.

The dove, call her Mona, had dislodged the automatic sprinkler hose. Instead of spraying her head every morning, it sprays the concrete. Flowers dying. Makes her more vulnerable to predators. So the rest of the day, I kept looking, watching out for her. That afternoon, I flushed a Cooper’s hawk that had snuck into the nest box, behind my back. Hadn’t had time to eat the eggs before he saw me, busted out of the yard.

Later, working inside, I heard a whomp and the squeaky-hinge sound of dove wings. Looked out the window to see a huge bird, glossy black with an enormous schnoz. A raven! Perched on the box edge. I was going to scream through the window, Leave it! but when I stood up, it took off. Mona paced the back wall.

This morning, Mona was sitting her nest as I left for work. At 5 pm, when I got home, she wasn’t there. At 7, she still hadn’t returned. I took out the step stool, peeked in. Nothing there but her flimsy sticks. Eggs gone. Not a feather. Not even a piece of shell. Either the raven or the hawk.

Memo: reconnect water hose tomorrow.

the deep belling
of my whole-tone chimes
sundown

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